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Swastik The Band: Revolutionizing Hindustani Music
Swastik The band, founded in 2005, is an upcoming band which brings the blend of Hindustani Culture and the core essence of Indian culture twined with various other cultures. The band aims to design Indian music on Western Rhythms with a pinch of Folk and Sufi Music. The Swastik have come out with several successful singles such as Daru, Andhere sheher me, Kuch bhi karlo and now Jogi. What I liked about Jogi was how Carnatic tunes blended smoothly with Indie rock. They have also used the dying Hindustani style to make it appealing for the young generation. The band’s highly energetic performances traverse eras connecting with a wide variety of audience. Besides colleges, the band regularly performs at leading music festivals, corporate events, product launches, industry conferences, awards nights and other private events across India. Here is my interview with Swastik The Band's lead guitarist and founding member, Rohit Joshi.
How was the Swastik The Band formed?
Swastik was founded in 2005 when we were in college. We had come up with a couple of numbers that got popular among the people in Chandigarh and that’s what pushed us towards the direction of music. Over the years some people had to drop out because they had other priorities to take care off.
You’re music is into Hindustani, tell us more about your lyrics? What is so special about it?
We want to become a brand that is loved by the whole world, we want to take the wonderful Hindustani music with us and travel Overseas. The lyrics sometimes include unheard Sufis of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ji. We perform them sometime on our live shows.
After a few successful singles, is Swastik The Band coming out with an album?
We are currently not coming out with an album, but from time to time we release singles such as Kuch bhi karlo which was was our love song and was based on the life situation of a person. Andhere sheher me was shot in Delhi. The song depicts the condition of society these days related to child labor, harassment and exploitation of people when they are working. After that we released Jogi which has a Carnatic feel. The song is from the girl’s side but we sing it in the both ways. All these three songs got featured on MTV. And the first recorded song of the band was Daru. Now we have a couple of songs that still need to be recorded and are planning our own album. We are about to release another official video very soon for Nadiya ke paar which was shot in Czech Republic.
What are the challenges you are facing in the music scene?
There are so many good artists but they don’t seem to be working on anything original because of the commercial scene. Our songs are too deep and very few people can connect to the lyrics. In North India, things have turned out a bit commercial, more artists are into the Bollywood scene. Actually, we don’t want to play commercial songs. Sometimes we get calls to do commercial music but we refuse to perform at places where they don’t have good listeners. We also face the challenge to have a good listeners. The approach is degrading day by day and I would like to call it a way of getting easy money. They are not getting entangled into a particular genre. So many bands call themselves as Sufi bands but end up performing Bollywood songs. It is not upto the mark according to the band.
What would you like to tell budding artists?
You should work on your own songs and compose music to what people can relate to. You need to work on your own songs, launch them and then only you can do music as a career.
Where all are you guys performing?
Swastik The Band is more popular in Delhi, Chandigarh and Ludhiana. We also perform at corporate and college events.
Tell us more about your band mates?
We are seven member band and coming from an engineering background. When I was in college i didn't see music as a career option. Madusara is from Sri Lanka and currently pursuing engineering. We have two vocalists, Hardeep Singh and Vipul Chopra. Hardeep Singh sings more of classical music and is more into Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ji and Vipul Chopra is pretty versatile and gives good harmonic performances. Arpit is the percussionist. Vaibhav Ghandhi is from Delhi and is the drummer. Pravesh, our bassist is doing Phd and I am lead guitarist from Dehradun.
Do you have any shows coming up?
We have shows lined up for another month. We have around ten to twelve shows in a month located in Chandhigarh, Ludhiana, Delhi and Gurgaon. Every weekend we are performing either in the corporate events or college events. We got selected for leapFROG to Coke Studio competition and from there we got good promotion of the band.
What would you like to tell your fans?
We don’t call them our fans but a part of the Swastik family. People from the Swastik family have done promotions of our band.